As older parents with two teen biological children at home, we had considered adoption for many years, but I thought it would never become a reality. I was wrong.
I had always wanted to adopt one child for that one bedroom we always had available. With my husband being 19 years older than I am and with having been married for 18 years, I thought this was too much to ask. We were 46 and 66 years old when he came to me and said, “I know this has always been on your heart to do; I want you to have your hopes and dreams. Let’s go to the adoption meetings and training and see how we feel and what happens.”
Long story short, we completed all our training and began to pray for the right child. However, it was not one child in our future, but four brothers desperately try to stay together in the foster system. They were 3, 8, 9, and 12 years old. Six months after seeing their picture on a news broadcast, we became a family of eight.
It was a dramatic change to our life. We all knew it was meant to be. We now have six children at home, a daughter and five sons. It was difficult at first but we all love each other. Our kids are so close and cannot imagine our life any different.
Our new sons had been through so much pain, loss and stress; they never really imagined they would get adopted. One of my sons told me, "I felt like we were invisible, like no one really knew or cared that we were out there." They said they felt hopeless and were told so many times that "bad boys" like them never got adopted.
I want the world to know that there are so many precious children like my sons sitting in foster care needing love and feeling hopeless and like "bad children." They need families to step up and love them and commit to them unconditional love and security and safety. Our sons were not "bad boys" — they were precious children who had never known what love, commitment, protection and family meant. I've watched them heal physically and emotionally and spiritually over the last five years.
When people hear our story, they say, "Those are very lucky boys." I say, "No, we are blessed to have them in our life, to have them as our sons." My husband and our kids and I have received more and have changed so much as a result of being blessed with our sons.
I encourage couples and families to look at adoption and consider reaching out to a child or sibling group that needs a family. It will be hard work, your life will change, it will not be easy. However, the reward is amazing! Our sons have loved, grown, and challenged us. They will not be statistics; they are world changers with a future that is limitless.
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